Players told to rest!

Date published: Wednesday, August 3, 2011

OLDHAM RL Club team boss Tony Benson acted decisively last night after his side’s rare home defeat by Workington . . . he ordered his players to put their feet up!

For much of the year the Roughyeds’ part-time pros, who have full-time jobs outside rugby, are on club duty four days out of every seven, training on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and playing on Sundays.

They were battered physically and bruised mentally by a tough battle with a huge Cumbrian outfit which ended in a 24-22 defeat, only their second league loss at Whitebank in nine outings.

So the order went out . . . take a break, forget about rugby and relax.

Said chairman Chris Hamilton: “Tony drew on his experience. The dressing room after the game on Sunday was full of bruised bodies and bitterly disappointed players.

“Tony cancelled training in the belief that his players would benefit far more from a night off, and the opportunity to recover naturally, than they would from being flogged in another training routine.

“They will be back in on Thursday and, as they have no game this weekend, they will still have ten days in which to prepare for the next big challenge, a derby clash at Rochdale on Sunday week.”

Working harder than ever, however, was club physio Rachel Johnson, who has had her busiest year in seven seasons in rugby league, the last four with Oldham.

Injured players had still to attend for treatment and the roll call included several who picked up superficial knocks at weekend, plus longer-term victims Dave Ellison, Chris Clarke, Matthew Fogarty, Lucas Onyango, Luke Stenchion and Mick Fogerty.

Out for two months with a ruptured Achilles tendon, Onyango has at least had something to celebrate while sidelined — the award of a degree in coaching and sports development from Manchester Metropolitan University. He is now going for a masters in sports science.